The Some time ago I saw a video about grounding strings by running a wire to one of the eyelets used as string anchors, and using a metal saddle to get continuity to the remaining strings. It inspired me to ground all three strings at the bottom, with a ground wire buried inside the tail of the through neck. On my last build I ran three individual wires, which worked, but isn’t exactly what I’d call an elegant method. So this time the challenge became creating a single point ground for all the strings using one wire.
I started by drilling the tailstock holes for the eyelets (I’m using pop rivets, but Gitty long eyelets would work fine), then drilling an angled hole leading from the cut away portion of the neck where the box lid ends up, to meet one of the string holes in the tailpiece. Then from the side of the tailpiece, drilled another 1/8” hole horizontally, connecting the three vertical string holes. Then using a paper clip with a tiny hook bent into one end, I fished a stripped section of stranded wire that’d been twisted into a single neat cable, through the gallery created by these two extra holes, and twisted the wire around each of the three top string eyelets. The tail of the bare wire ends up under the box lid at the recess in the neck, and will get soldered to the ground wire on the pickup harness. The only visible evidence is the extra hole in the side of the tail of the neck, which I’ll simply plug with a pop rivet. Alternately it could be plugged with a 1/8” dowel.
Its a bit fiddley fishing the wire through the gallery and making the loops at each eyelet, but the result is a clean grounding system that is totally hidden, and works with the eyelet string anchors and doesn’t require a metal bridge or saddle.
Note the drill bit and rod in the photo are only there to indicate the holes drilled for the wire I installed the pop rivets part way temporarily until after the neck is painted, then they’ll get replaced with nice clean ones.
Thanks BrianQ, can you share a photo of this method all set up. I've never used it.
Pretty much the same way done in your pics, I think the tailpiece is the best hands down , it gives you a larger area to ground out noise.I like how you tested for continuity, not too many know about that?
How far is the string holes from the fretwire and did you use a regular or jumbo fret?
Hi Christopher, this was only a demo exercise so the distance does not matter in this case. But close enough to get a sharp break angle over the fret.
The strings would exit their holes go over the fret, size does not mater so long as the strings put pressure on it, and continue on to the bridge. If the fret was a "zero" fret on the fingerboard I would use a jumbo fret.
I do the same thing but in the wood bridge. Just drill in the bottom not side then I drill a larger hole under the bridge so I have a bit of movment for intonation issues later if need be.
Ha ha, with those coloured string ball ends it looks like you have wired up active neutral and earth. You'd get some shocking music out of that.
Took a hint from the replies and continuity tested after the rivets were seated. Of course the battery in my meter is dead. But I have one of those little machined aluminum flashlights with the switch in the base. Unscrewed the base and used the light as a continuity tester. Yup, everybody still connected. It woulda
sucked to find out I had an issue after final assembly. Had a little issue with a loose string guide that revealed itself when string tension was applied. Fixed that last night, and played it this morning. I’m having fun.